4 Questions on Affordability with Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould
Check your bank account. Families are getting more money from the Canadian government to help stem the tide of rising bills.
Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould was at YMCA Georgian Babysitter in Barrie on July 20, highlighting the increased Canada child benefit (CBB) which comes into effect this month. Many lots were deposited on Wednesday.
For the 2022-23 benefit year, families most in need can receive up to $6,997 per child under six, or $5,903 per child aged six to 17. This represents an increase of $164 and $138, respectively, this year.
With historic house, rent and gas prices, and the inflation seen earlier this year, it’s clear that the cost of living for many local residents is rising – and this increase isn’t offsetting it. So Simcoe.com asked Gould what the government is doing to make life much more affordable for Canadians right now.
Here is part of his Q&A with journalist Chris Simon:
Simcoe.com: What is the percentage increase for the CBB this year?
Gould: It’s indexed to inflation, so it’s about a 2.4% increase.
Simcoe.com: We are seeing an increase in the cost of living in all areas. This increase does not seem sufficient to meet the needs of three, four or five people.
Gould: I guess the difference would be the (CBB) from what was in place before. The previous Conservative government would have sent $100 a month to all children. In some cases, (CBB) exceeds $6,000 per year, which makes a huge difference considering the high cost of groceries. We have a child care initiative in Ontario that will see a significant reduction in fees. Its very important.
Simcoe.com: But you’ve seen record levels of inflation appear this year. You can’t blame the (previous) government.
Gould: I’m not. What I’m saying is that what we’ve put in place has helped families tremendously with the high cost of living. It makes a difference. This is one of many measures we are taking.
Simcoe.com: It’s good to get money from the government, but you have to cut costs in other areas, right?
Gould: We have $7 billion in our National Housing Strategy for affordable housing. For 20 years, the federal government was not in the housing business. It means we didn’t have enough supply. Across the country, we see ads for affordable housing going online. You can build all the million dollar houses you want, but that won’t help people. We need to make sure we have that diversity of housing. Last Thursday, the Climate Action discount also arrived. We are taking many steps. Take all of these things together and it’s quite significant. Housing is something we are working very hard on. We are trying to take targeted, but comprehensive measures to deal with the high cost of living overall.